The Post Journal
By APRIL DIODATO, OBSERVER Staff Writer
HANOVER — The town of Hanover Planning Board convened Monday at the town hall to discuss a proposed land subdivision where a development may be built. Applicant Jonathan Bevilacqua of Bevilacqua Development L.P. presented his plan for a subdivision of four lots where as many upscale homes could be built, in Hanford Bay, on a private road off Shore Drive.
Several owners of neighboring properties were in attendance. “We just want to know what’s going on,” one of the residents said before the meeting began. Bevilacqua’s attorney Roland R. Georger, an associate at Damon Morey Attorneys at Law, and Howard Mandell, project engineer, also spoke on his behalf.
Bevilacqua Development L.P. is based in East Amherst; the Bevilacqua family owns a summer home adjacent to the property where the proposed subdivision would be situated. The proposed lots range in size from 7495 to 8900 square feet. The lots would be accessed by a dead-end road with a T turnaround and a circular drive that could potentially double as an emergency vehicle turnaround.
Upscale homes are planned, possibly for year-round living. Bevilacqua said they essentially left the meeting in the same position they came in. “We’re willing to make a significant investment in this area and we’re willing to cooperate with the town in any way to get this done,” Bevilacqua said after the meeting. “We think it would be a great project for the town and would reduce the overall taxes for the town residents. We want to do it to the highest quality and to keep the homes on this subdivision in the same character as other existing homes on Shore Drive.”
Bevilacqua Development owns a significant amount of property in the area, including 17 acres in Sunset Bay. “Depending on what kind of cooperation and willingness we get from the town, and openness to development, we may be willing to develop that land as well,” Bevilacqua said. “However, this isn’t really an economically viable project without full cooperation from the Planning Board and if we don’t have full cooperation from the Planning Board and town officials, then we really can’t make this investment in this area.”
No final decision was made following the Planning Board meeting, with discussion of the proposal to continue. The plan will be submitted to the County Planning Board next and some aspects of the proposal will probably be discussed with the town attorney, Carol DePasquale, head of the Planning Board, said. A determination needs to be made about whether the plan will be considered a major or minor subdivision. Classification as a minor subdivision is more favorable for the developers, as it would allow for more flexibility in the review process.
“Because there is not any road frontage, that’s what makes this different from usual subdivisions,” DePasquale said after the meeting. She explained there are four lots, which would make it a minor subdivision, but the lack of road frontage typically leads to a classification as a major subdivision, according to the Planning Board’s subdivision regulations. “They were anxious to have the public hearing about it in January, just to know if they can go forward with the project, but that’s cutting it kind of close, to get everyone’s responses in,” DePasquale said. “We want to make sure the easements aren’t going to interfere with roadways and make sure the highway department superintendent understands what this development will need.” Accessibility to emergency vehicles and proper plans for drainage need to be taken into consideration.
Another issue is the piece of property that belongs to Doug Newman, who voiced his concerns about a 15-foot easement that would impact his 60-foot parcel. He said he had hoped to build a home for his daughter on that property one day. Bevilacqua said when the lot was sold to Newman, he agreed Bevilacqua Development would reserve a 15-foot easement over that property, which would be used for either a road or utilities, and it would be used as a right-of-way so that the property to the east of his parcel could be used for development. “On top of that, he agreed in the contract that he would cooperate with any development of that property,” Bevilacqua said. “It’s perplexing that he’s actually complaining about the development of it now when he always knew that this was our intention when we sold him that lot.” DePasquale agreed Newman knew about the easement when he signed the contract. “He was aware that they still had plans on that parcel and they were aware he had plans to put a house up,” DePasquale said. “But they could probably work it out, sit down and try to be reasonable… They want to be flexible.”
A public hearing about the subdivision will likely be held at the Planning Board’s February meeting, regularly scheduled for the third Monday of the month. If approved, construction on the infrastructure could begin as early as March.